Release Date: Jun 9, 2015
Record label: Spectrum Spools
Genre(s): Electronic, Techno
Music this exciting makes written reflection seem superfluous at best. On the one hand, this Sharps container of volatile materials defies erudition. On the other, it is the classic hyperbole magnet. Out of context, likely Container review words could easily be Container song titles: Music this immediate makes you question the value of language.
Ren Schofield was an early leader in the technoise movement, a loose group of producers in America's noise scene who gravitated towards techno. As Container, he makes volatile dance music that feels like it's constantly on the verge of exploding. His debut album of grizzled hardware workouts, simply called LP, felt downright dangerous when it landed in 2011.
Ren Schofield's third full-length for Spectrum Spools (all of which are titled LP) distills the noise veteran's abrasive techno project Container to its essence. Previous albums featured slowly building Dan Bell-like techno tracks laced with feedback, and often featuring a paranoid-sounding looped vocal sample. Many of his older tracks also stretched past the five-minute mark, sometimes reaching ten minutes, but 2015's LP is much more concise.
On his third LP (the conveniently titled LP) Ren Schofield expertly commemorates the moment when industrial music ventured out from the dungeon and onto the dance floor. After releasing two LPs (also conveniently titled LP) of slightly warped, experimental-leaning techno, Schofield (aka Container) has unleashed his most digestible, accessible and danceable set of songs to date. Of course, when it comes to Container, such adjectives have to be taken within a grain of salt, as Schofield still seems committed to building his songs around harsh, metallic sounds, complex polyrhythms and putrefying structures.
Ren Schofield was a member of the noise scene before he started his one-man techno project Container, and you can hear this anarchic influence seep into the clean lines of his current work. "I like things raw and kind of sloppy," he told Resident Advisor in 2012. "I like things when they're not perfect." That sensibility is what makes Container’s records so compelling and unique.
If you've been scouring the main news sites recently you may have seen the interesting story coming out from Google's research labs about their experiments with digital neural networks that ended up creating "inception" art. Instead of using artificial neural networks in the way they're normally used (teaching them to "learn" how perceive objects by feeding it millions of examples), they turned the process around by introducing the network to random images and then concentrating on sections of the image when parts of the network trained to find a particular object – a tree, a banana, etc – became active. The result was that simple images, from landscapes to abstract noise, turned into psychedelic monstrosities.
At the heart of experimental music is an aim toward the aspirational. High-minded tinkerers evoke future utopias for the world of organized sound, offering statements of what is and and imagining what could be. It’s a place where boundaries between the dance floor, the bedroom, and the lecture ….